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Posts Tagged ‘Honey’

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Relishing It

As you know I sent my little girl off to Pre-Kindergarten on Monday– and she is absolutely loving it.  I sometimes like to bake treats for their lunch boxes, or for an after-school sweet when they get home.  I distinctly recall getting off the school bus as a kid and walking into the house to the smell of something wonderful that my mom had made during the day.  She’d have batches of cookies ready, or even racks (yes, racks) of pies on the counter.  And she always timed it out so they were ready when my brother and I walked through the door.  However… I’m a little hesitant to bake such delights using all of that sugar on a daily– or even weekly– basis.  Don’t get me wrong, my kids get their share of sugar, but it’s nice to be able to put something a little healthier, something more substantial, into their little growing bodies.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Relishing It

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Relishing It

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Relishing It

I was able to create a healthy muffin recipe that was made with whole grains, healthy coconut oil, and no processed sugar (alright, there are chocolate chips, but they’re optional…kind of.  You’ll want them in there).  These muffins are also loaded with vegetables, and your kids will be none the wiser!  What more could one want?  They are perfectly chocolate-y, but not overly sweet.  They stay very moist– quite like a small cake.  I really have no guilt about giving this treat to my kids, or eating it myself for that matter.  I hope you like them as much as we do!

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Relishing It

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

(makes 12)

1 cup white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour works, too)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (warmed to the liquid state, but not hot)

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 medium)

3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60 % Cacao Bittersweet are the best, in my opinion)

Note:  The coarsely grated zucchini is definitely visible in these muffins, which is how I prefer them.  If you don’t fancy that, simply grate the zucchini finer.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Spray or butter a 12-cup muffin tin.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift, then whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa.   Toss the chocolate chips into the mixture. Set aside.

In another large bowl, thoroughly mix the honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs together until uniform.  Add the zucchini and mix until evenly coated.

Combine the two bowls together, mix until everything is wet.  Do not over mix. Evenly distribute the batter–1/4 cup per muffin is about right.  Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 3 – 5 minutes before removing from the pan.  Keeps well for days in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing it

I figure it’s finally time to share my favorite banana bread with all of you.  Really, what’s a food blog without a banana bread recipe, right?  I bet I make banana bread at least every couple of weeks.  My freezer is packed with bananas that don’t get eaten right away.  I just keep adding to the pile…one here, one there.  This recipe is a bit unusual because it calls for six bananas– so start saving up!

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

Since we eat banana bread so often, I really wanted my version to be healthy.  I tweaked and tweaked and finally arrived at this recipe a while ago. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be.  Since over-ripe bananas are sweeter, you’ll only need a little bit of honey to get the sweetness just right.  No sugar added here.  The larger number of bananas really gives this bread deep flavor, as well as keeps it moist without much fat.  And speaking of fat,  I used a healthier virgin coconut oil in it.  The flavor combines perfectly with the bananas and chocolate.  I used a mixture of oat flour and whole wheat pastry flour for the base.  Combined, they give the bread a perfect texture– just slightly lighter than ordinary banana bread, but with enough heft to be satisfying.

Cacao Nibs for Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

When it comes to the chocolate, you have a decision to make.  I prefer adding cacao nibs, but my kids/husband like chocolate chunks.  If you aren’t familiar with cacao nibs, they’re crushed cacao beans.  They are unsweetened and have a bit of a crunch that adds a nice texture.  They’re also loaded with antioxidants.  Alone they are somewhat bitter, but adding them to sweet things makes them delicious. Try throwing them into your next smoothie!  And lastly, I added chia seeds for more health benefits, because why not?

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

A few reminders:  First, make sure to use really over-ripe bananas.  You’ll want that extra sweetness since you won’t be adding sugar.  I’m talking the blacker, the better.  Also, make sure you bake your banana bread long enough.  There is nothing worse than under-baked banana bread.  A longer bake time is better.  There are so many bananas in there that the chances of it being dry are very slim.  Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Healthy Banana Bread via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Healthy Banana Bread

(makes one loaf)

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 smashed over-ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cup — a tablespoon or two extra is fine)

1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) oat flour

1  1/4 cup (7 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup cacao nibs  OR  1 cup chocolate chunks

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, chia seeds, salt, and baking powder with a whisk.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer (or regular bowl if mixing by hand), add the honey and coconut oil.  Combine for a minute on medium speed until somewhat creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix for another minute, or so.  Then add the fork-smashed bananas.  Mix until well combined and somewhat smooth.  Next, sift the flour mixture over the wet ingredients.  Combine on low just until all of the ingredients are moistened.  Do not over-mix.  Add the cocoa nibs or chocolate chunks and fold in with a rubber spatula.  Scoop mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 45-48 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean from the middle of the loaf.  The center should feel somewhat firm when you feel it.  Let cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and gently remove from pan.  Continue to let cool on a cooling rack.  For best results, after cutting into it, place the cut side down on a cutting board and leave the rest of the bread uncovered for the first day.  The texture will remain true this way.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!  Hope you all are having a lovely Summer, so far!

Laurie

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Whole Grain Lemon Ricotta Pancakes via Relishing It

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, so I thought I’d give you a breakfast recipe to help you treat that special lady right this Sunday.  These pancakes are the perfect “something special” to show your mom, grandma, or wife just how much they mean to you.  And if you make sure to clean up once everything is made, she’ll appreciate it all the more.

Whole Grain Lemon Ricotta Pancakes via Relishing It

Lemon ricotta pancakes are one of our favorite Spring breakfast dishes.  The flavors here combine to give a fresh twist on the old pancake routine.  As usual, I’ve tossed in a few tricks from my “make things more healthy” repetoire.  Using white whole wheat flour not only makes these more healthy, but it adds a bit more substance than you’ll find in a typical lemon ricotta pancake, which tends to be feather-light.  I’ve also used coconut oil throughout the recipe– both in the pancakes, as well as for the frying oil.  The coconut flavor pairs beautifully with the lemon here.  Just a quick side note, I love coconut oil.  Absolutely love it.  I try to use it as a substitute whenever the dish allows.   I used just a touch of honey as the sweetener in these pancakes,  since I don’t like them overly sweet.  Add a bit more, if you like.  Or top them with a lovely fruit purée.  The ricotta gives them a wonderful, creamy texture, and the lemon– well it’s simply fabulous.

Whole Grain Lemon Ricotta Pancakes via Relishing it

I’m lucky enough to have two beautiful women in my life that I get to honor on Mother’s Day– my Mom and my Mother-in-Law. Both are strong, compassionate, women who have helped guide and nurture me and my family.  They’re incredible grandmothers to my children, and that means the world to me.  (I love you both!)  I’ll be traveling to North Dakota later this week with my kiddos to celebrate with my Mom– so I’ll be back here at Relishing It next week. I hope all of you Moms have a great, sun-filled day surrounded by your loved ones!

Whole Grain Lemon Ricotta Pancakes via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Whole Grain Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Juice and zest of 3 smallish lemons

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons honey, or more to taste

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

virgin coconut oil, for frying

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, combine the coconut oil, lemon juice/zest, ricotta cheese, honey, eggs, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cup milk.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredient and combine them using a wooden spoon.  Add a bit more milk, if necessary.  Be careful not to over mix.  Let the batter rest for a few minutes.

Heat some coconut oil in a large skillet.  When it is hot enough, ladle batter into the pan– make the pancakes as big, or as small as you like.  When they begin to get speckled with “holes”, it’s time to flip them over.  Repeat the procedure, adding more coconut oil to the pan each time.  Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  xo

Laurie

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Lamb Tagine via Relishing It

I woke up to the welcoming rumble of thunder this morning.  Now that may not seem too interesting, but with a quick glance out the window, I saw heavy snowflakes falling everywhere and blanketing the ground.  Thunder and snow– brilliant!  I know I may be the last person in Minnesota (aside from my husband) who isn’t quite ready to let Winter go yet.  Yes, I know it has been a long season this year, but the prospect of one last snowstorm made for a lovely start to my day.  And this has to be the last one of the year right?  Right?

Moroccan Lamb Tagine via Relishing It

This lovely dish will keep you warm while you wait for the snow to melt.  It’s a delicious Moroccan lamb tagine, which is technically a “Spring” dish.  So, even if you’re not able to frolick in the fresh Minnesota snow, you can enjoy this delightful meal.  What is a tagine?  It’s a North African “stew” that is simmered in a special pot.  The pot itself is called a tagine.  It’s an interesting vessel with a conical lid which allows for less steam loss.  Less steam loss means you don’t have to add as much liquid in the first place, which concentrates the flavors.   The stew itself consists of a meat, paired with fruits and nuts.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine via Relishing It

As it turns out, you don’t actually have to use a tagine.  I don’t have one, so I turned to my trusty Dutch oven with it’s tight fitting lid.  It worked wonderfully.  We’ve made this tagine several times, and it’s become a favorite in our house. Lamb pairs beautifully with dried fruits.   It’s full of dried plums, cilantro, turmeric, and pearl onions.  The dried plums disintegrate to form a splendid, slightly sweet sauce that coats the lamb perfectly.  The pearl onions add a nice contrast.  The dish can be served with whole wheat couscous or even quinoa and topped with chopped almonds for a bit of crunch.  Add more cilantro or fresh mint  for a burst of freshness.  Traditionally preserved lemons or Harissa (recipe coming soon!) can be served along side, so feel free to experiment.  One pound of lamb feeds our family of four perfectly, since this is a rich dish– you don’t need a pile on your plate.  We serve it with a nice salad or a vegetable on the side.   However, if you have more people, or are wanting leftovers (highly encouraged), feel free to double the recipe.  Enjoy!

Moroccan Lamb Tagine via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Lamb Tagine

(Serves 3-4 people)

olive oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 pound lamb stew meat, cubed

10 saffron threads (optional) broken with a mortar and pestle or with your fingertips   *See note

2 tablespoons honey

1 3/4 – 2 cups beef broth, or more

1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric

1-inch piece of whole cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon ground

pinch of nutmeg or mace

3/4 cup dried plums (prunes)

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

15 frozen (or fresh) pearl onions

fresh mint or more chopped cilantro,  and chopped toasted almonds to garnish

Note: Saffron is a wonderful spice that is used often in Moroccan dishes.  However, it is quite expensive.  This tagine is delicious with or without it–so, you decide.

If you are fortunate enough to have a real tagine, of course use that for this dish.  If you don’t have one, a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid is a wonderful alternative.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven.  Always use a paper towel to pat your meat dry  before browning it– you will get a wonderful color this way.  Season the lamb with a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper.  Brown your meat in two batches, so the pan does not get overcrowded.   Make sure to let the meat develop a nice dark color.   Add more olive oil, as needed.

Remove the meat from the pan.  Add a bit more olive oil to the pan, (and even a splash of beef broth, if there is a lot of color on the bottom) and brown the chopped onion.  Scrape up all of the brown bits, as they have a ton of flavor.  After a few minutes, add the lamb, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, cilantro, prunes, and honey.  Saute for 30 seconds, then add the beef broth.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and place in the oven for about 50 minutes.  Check during the baking time to see if you need to add more broth.  The consistency is your choice, so add as much or as little as you want.  It will thicken near the end.  When it seems done, add the pearl onions and return to oven so they heat through, about 5 minutes.  Garnish with chopped cilantro or mint and chopped almonds.  It’s delicious served with whole wheat couscous or even quinoa.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine’s Special Soups & Stews Issue 2010

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie

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Apple Challah via Relishing It

Despite the frigid weather, we survived this week’s arctic blast here in Minnesota.  And while I managed to get out-and-about a couple of times, much of the long weekend was spent tidying up the house and pre-Spring cleaning.  By January our home is so cluttered with Christmas toys, winter gear, and heaping piles of kindergarten projects that it’s almost unbearable.  So we bought more toy shelves (I really need to have a garage sale this Spring), organized the important school work, and re-arranged a few rooms.  And somehow, once everything was in order, it felt like we’d uncovered two new rooms.  Now I can finally think clearly again!

Apples for Apple Challah via Relishing It

Diced apples for Apple Challah via Relishing It

Aside from the re-organization and playing countless games of Munchkin and Memory with the little ones, I also managed to squeeze in a little baking.  It was a nice way to help warm the house when the windchill dropped to -30°F.  This apple challah turned out perfectly.  One of my favorite things to play around with in the kitchen is bread made with yeast.  I’m fascinated by how yeast grows and changes, creating such interesting flavor.  Baking bread takes patience and planning, but not a lot of work.  And the aroma of freshly baked bread, alone, is worth the small effort.

Challah dough stuffed with apples via Relishing It

Challah stuffed with apples via Relishing It

Apple Challah ready to bake via Relishing It

If you have reservations about working with yeast, just relax and start with something simple.  This apple challah is a nice entry point.  You basically shove everything into a pan and bake it up.  But the results are a magical, tender, rustic-looking bread.  This one isn’t overly sweet– it’s amazing flavors come from the apples, honey, and cinnamon.  One of my favorite characteristics of this challah is the nice ‘crunch’ provided by sprinkling turbinado sugar on top.  The crust is best on the day it’s baked, since it tends to soften over time in a sealed container.  Even so, it keeps well for several days, and the inside stays soft and moist.  Enjoy it drizzled with a bit of honey and a nice cup of hot coffee.

Apple Challah via Relishing It

Apple Challah via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Apple Challah

For the Dough:

4 cups (20 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour  (see note)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 tablespoons canola oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup honey

1 package instant yeast  (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1/2 cup luke-warm water (between 100-110°F)

For the Filling:

3 smallish apples, diced into 3/4-inch chunks with the skin on

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Glaze:

1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Note: The recipe from King Arthur called for 4 cups of flour.  I generally assume that 1 cup of all-purpose flour weighs 5 ounces.  So, I added 20 ounces of flour to this recipe.  King Arthur called for 4 cups of flour, but stated 17 ounces as their weight measurement.  I did feel the dough was a bit stiffer than I was accustomed to working with, but the outcome was absolutely perfect.  It was a soft and tender bread that was sublime.  I think it’s safe to say that anything between 17-20 ounces would work here, though I haven’t tried the 17 ounce version first-hand.  Can you tell that I love my scale? 

In a bowl of a stand mixer (the recipe can also be done by hand, of course), mix the yeast, honey, and water together until it is dissolved.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes, or until it begins to get a bit foamy.

Add the remaining ingredients for the dough to the yeast mixture and slowly mix using the paddle attachment until the dough just comes together.  Remove the paddle attachment and add the dough hook.  Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is soft and smooth.  Place the dough in a slightly oiled large bowl and cover it with a dishtowel or lightly greased plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2-inches deep.  Mix the apple filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface.  Roll the dough out into a 8 x 10-inch rectangle.  Place the apples on the dough in two 10-inch rows near the center of the dough.  Fold each side over the row of apples closest to it.  Pushing down as you go to seal it.  Using a sharp knife, cut the dough down the center, and then across 8 times.  You should end up with 16 pieces of dough.  Hopefully the photographs will help with a visual.  Place the pieces of dough into the prepared pan so they create a single layer.  Tuck any apples that have fallen out into the mixture.

Cover the challah with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s about 2-inches high.

Preheat the oven to 325°F toward the end of rising time.  Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle heavily with turbinado sugar (or any coarse sugar).  Bake for about 55 minutes, or until the top is a beautiful golden brown.  Some of the higher pieces may get dark brown, and that’s ok.  The dough needs to bake all the way through in the middle, so be patient.  Remove challah from oven and after 5 minutes loosen the edges and transfer it to a rack.  Serve hot or cold, preferably with a drizzle of honey.  Keeps well for days in a covered container.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Thanks so much for stopping by!  xo

Laurie

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One of the best smells in the world– especially on a weekend morning– has to be homemade caramel sticky buns baking in the oven.  The sweet scent of cinnamon wafting through the house, along with the earthy aroma of toasted pecans, is just… divine really.  Caramel sticky buns are one of my family’s favorite weekend treats, so a few years ago we began to scour the Twin Cities for the best ones.  We found a few gems, but more often than not, we were disappointed.  Many were too ‘bread-y’, others were covered in so much caramel that they were just a mess, and a few were hard, crunchy disasters.

Aside from returning to that handful of favorites that we did find, I decided to work on a version that was just right.  I try new sticky bun recipes all the time– I really do.  We’ve gone through a few that are really tasty, but this one is the best.  And it’s better than any we’ve found in local bakeries or cafe’s.  Honestly, it’s perfect.  It makes a nice tall bun that is soft and tender– not too dense– with a lightly-crunchy top.  The dough is soft, buttery, and very easy to work with.  It rolls out beautifully.

One interesting thing about this recipe is that the caramel is on the top and bottom of the roll.  This means you don’t invert the rolls when they’re finished.  Instead, you top them with another helping of caramel.  The result is an even distribution of the caramel throughout the roll.  It’s a simple difference, but it’s genius.

Another thing that makes these buns different from most recipes is that for the filling, you whip the butter along with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (nutmeg makes everything better).  In most other versions, you just spread the butter and sprinkle on the spices.  It makes an amazing difference, so do not avoid this step.  You’re going to want to lick the mixture right off the spoon!

These buns are wonderful to prepare ahead of time.  You can do this a few ways.  First, the dough can be refrigerated (it needs to chill for at least to two hours before it can be rolled into buns, anyway).  Another option is to finish the buns, get them into the pan, and refrigerate overnight.  The rise time will be a bit longer (because the dough is cold), but it makes having a fresh sticky bun in the morning so much easier.  Finally, you can just make them the night before– including the baking– since these one’s stay soft and moist.  In the morning, just top them with the last of the caramel and toasted pecans.  Hope you enjoy these sticky buns as much as we do!

The Recipe:  Perfect Caramel Sticky Buns

(Makes 9)

For the Dough:

2/3 cup whole milk

5 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 3/4 cup (14 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus a bit more melted

For the Caramel Topping:

2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of kosher salt

flour, for dusting

1 egg, for brushing on the buns

Sea salt

Prepare the dough by heating the milk in a saucepan or microwave until the temperature registers 110-115°F.  Mix in the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.  Let it sit for 5 minutes to get foamy.  Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.  Add the remaining sugar, flour, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment.  Give the mixture a quick stir with a whisk, then add the wet ingredients.  Turn the machine on and mix until it’s a shaggy mess.  Add the butter, one chunk at a time, making sure to wait until each piece is mostly incorporated.  When everything is incorporated, knead the dough on medium  for about 5 minutes.  The dough should be soft and silky.  Place the dough into a large bowl that has been lightly coated with melted butter.  Pour a bit more of the melted butter on top of the dough and spread evenly with your hands.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Toast the pecans by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until fragrant.  Let cool.

Prepare the caramel by melting the butter in a small saucepan.  Add the brown sugar, cream, honey, and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Let continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.  The glaze will be a deep golden brown.  Pour one cup of the glaze into an 8×8-inch pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans over the glaze.  Reserve the remaining glaze (refrigerate with a cover, if using much later).  Note: I’ve made these rolls by lining the pan with parchment paper so they could be easily removed and placed on a platter.  It also works just as easily to put them into the pan with nothing at all — the choice is yours.

Prepare the filling by placing the butter, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Set aside.

Form the buns by putting a light coat of flour down on a work surface.  Roll the chilled dough into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle.  Spread the butter/spice mixture on it, leaving a 1-inch plain border on the side furthest away from you.  Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the pecans over the butter (reserve the remaining pecans — put into an airtight container, if using much later).  Roll the dough into a tight log.  Cut and discard the very edges, if they are uneven.  Cut the remaining dough into 9 equal pieces.  Re-shape if they flatten out in the cutting process.  Place them in the pan and cover with plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size ( 1 1/2 – 2 hours, if the dough has been chilled overnight).

After the buns have properly raised, whisk the egg with 1/2 teaspoon of water and brush onto the buns.  Place the pan of buns on a baking sheet and put into a 350°F oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 185°F in the center.    Remove from oven and let cool for a bit.  Pour remaining glaze on the buns and top with the pecans.  Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.

Source:  Adapted from Bon Appetite

Thanks for stopping by RelishingIt today!

Laurie

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First, I want to thank all of you who left comments on my One Year Blogiversary post.  I wanted to thank each of you individually, but that would have complicated things for the contest a bit.  I really do appreciate that you take time out of your day to stop by and see what has been happening in my kitchen.  Congratulations to Tammy Kimbler, who won the cookbook!  She chose that fantastic cookbook, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.

On to today’s recipe.  I know I’ve mentioned a time or two that I love beets.  Again, I’m not talking about the tasteless little purple cubes that come out of a can.  Beautiful, fresh beets can really be amazing.  One of my favorite ways to prepare them is by roasting.  Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, making them a perfect match for the honey and oranges in this salad.  The balsamic vinegar adds a nice tangy dimension, and the mint provides its signature crisp, freshnesh that ties this dish together.  I sometimes make this dish just for myself– no sharing.  True statement.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do– it’s simple, stunning, and so tasty.

The Recipe:  Roasted Beets with Orange and Mint

(Serves about 4)

About 12 assorted small beets (dark reds, chioggia, and golden)

2 medium oranges, supremed

handful of mint leaves, torn

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Wash and trim the beets, but leave the skins on.  Place on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet and drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil on them. Cover with more foil and roast in the oven until tender and a knife can cut through them with ease, about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Use a sharp knife to remove the skins and cut the beets into chunks.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and thyme together.  Place  the beets and the oranges that have been supremed into a large bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper, if necessary, and sprinkle with the torn mint.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Harvest to Heat

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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